Creative play is an important part of childhood and child development. It involves tapping into a child’s imagination or creativity and supports 21st Century Skills: problem-solving, collaboration and innovation. Creative play is open-ended and involves self-expression – there are no rule books, umpires, or coaches! This type of play also exercises the Frontal Lobe, the primary location of the Executive Function control center where critical mental skills are processed. These critical skills include working memory, flexible thinking and self-control – all necessary skills needed every day by all ages to learn, work, and manage daily life.

Looking to bring some creative play into your child’s day and open the opportunity for self-expression and learning as well? Check out the arts and crafts activity that was suggested by The Children’s Guild Behavioral Services clinician Janae Winder, LGPC. Required materials include a paper towel or toilet paper roll, and anything else that you have on hand to decorate it with (markers, crayons, colored paper, glitter, gems, etc.). Guide the child to create one of the four options below and follow it up with the guiding questions. Super easy, super fun, and super good for the frontal lobe!

  1. Telescopes: Make the telescope and talk about focusing on one thing at a time. This can also help to talk about perspective.
  2. Butterfly: Make the butterfly and talk about how things change.
  3. Monster: Make the monster and talk about fears and how to cope with them
  4. Bee: Make the bee and talk about determination (hint: bees shouldn’t be able to fly because their wings are “too” small).